Under-pressure Sharks beat Force in Perth
May 17, 2013
Western Force dished out some heavy defence in the first half but fell away after half-time
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The Sharks have returned to the Super Rugby winners' list, ending a disappointing tour to New Zealand and Australia with a gritty 23-13 win over Western Force in Perth on Friday night.
The Sharks were coming off five straight defeats upon arrival at nib Stadium.
They scored the opening try of the night through Keegan Daniel, but the Force were up 10-7 at half-time following a try to Kyle Godwin. Things were then tied 13-13 with just under 20 minutes to go before the Sharks got the game's last try through fullback Riaan Viljoen in the 62nd minute and then Patrick Lambie sealed the deal with a penalty to take the score to 23-13.
The Sharks snap a five-game losing streak against Western Force (video available in Australia only)%]
The Sharks' previous win was on April 5 at home to the Crusaders, since when they suffered losses in South Africa to the Stormers and the Cheetahs before tour defeats by the Chiefs, Highlanders and Queensland Reds.
The Force returned to Perth after a couple of spirited weeks on the road to draw with the Reds and lose by a point to the defending champion Chiefs, but the loss to the struggling Sharks leaves them last in the Australian conference and second-last overall in the 15-team competition.
Sharks captain Keegan Daniel said it was a much-needed win based more on determination than great form.
"We were under a lot of pressure this week," he said. "That was guts and effort. We knew we have been strong in the second half of games and that's what happened tonight."
Force captain Matt Hodgson said his side lacked patience, especially straight after the resumption.
"We got frustrated with ourselves," he said. "We didn't stick to our game plan in the first 20 minutes of the second half and they made us pay."